Farming has been a piece of cake for me this week. Isnít that a funny thing to say? Well itís been easy: I enjoyed preparing for market, I then enjoyed market and now I am looking forward to next week.
For a while markets had been feeling more like chores than enjoyable employment. Clouds of ennui were gathering at the thought of all the potatoes still to sell.
Market fatigue happens. Itís a long season, there is not much time off and away, and I know what to do: buckle down, and the rest will follow. Sure enough, I have emerged into the sunshine.
In fact, I have just realized that farming is like sleep training the baby: do the job right, be stoic and uncomplaining, be grateful for the opportunity and enjoy the rewards. Donít be surprised to find yourself mucking around for a while in the earlier part of the process.
Sleeping has been a problem because we managed to train the child to sleep only with a soother and it would keep popping out all night long. I am sure I donít need to elaborate.
Frankly I think it is time to lift my head from sleep training and carrot bagging and take a look at the world around me. What I find is both confusing and interesting, though hardly necessary to either working on a farm or training the child to sleep through the night.
The Financial Times has recently run articles about the high price of onions in India and how, as that price is historically linked to the downfall of at least two national governments, it is worth watching. I also read about ďfood entrepreneurshipĒ being a new buzzword at MBA programs.
Closer to home, I see that Diane Watts, Mayor of Surrey, has this to say about living on farmland: ďIf you are going to live on ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) you have a responsibility to farm that land. This has been a problem and there has to be public policy change at the provincial level to address that.Ē
Surrey has a huge amount of land in the ALR and most of that is in small chunks that are not suited to the style of agriculture predominant in the region. The mayor thinks that the people of Surrey are sending too much of their money out of the region and out of the country to get food that they could very well be growing right at home.
I gather she sees this as an economic development opportunity. The mayor of Surrey is no trifling politician and this is bound to play out in interesting ways, I have no doubt. Stay tuned for controversy.
The City of Vancouver recently unveiled its new Food Strategy. At 140 pages, there is no lack of words in it saying (I think): bees are good, so are chickens, so is growing food in all bits of dirt available, so are kitchens and markets should be everywhere. I assume it will be used to prop up the shaky concept of the New City Market, so I am going to have to read it a little more closely to know exactly what itís saying, if that is even possible.
Elsewhere in the world of food, a former opponent of GMOs has switched and become a supporter. This made headlines, perhaps because this is was a novel direction for the switch to occur? In any case, it will only be a matter of time before Ö
Iíve forgotten what I was writing about.
Anna Helmer is definitely feeling more alert than usual.